Published: Mon, December 04, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Metropolitan Opera Responds To James Levine Investigation

Metropolitan Opera Responds To James Levine Investigation

Legendary conductor James Levine is now the subject of an investigation by New York's Metropolitan Opera after allegations of sexual abuse by Levine surfaced Saturday, according to the New York Times and other media outlets.

Details of the police report were first reported Saturday on the website of the New York Post.

Levine's accuser told police he first met the conductor attending the festival as a young boy and continued to have harmless encounters with him for several years, according to the New York Post.

He was music director for the BSO between 2004 and 2011. I felt alone and afraid. I couldn't see this.

In a tweet, the Met said it was "deeply disturbed" by the claims published online and was investigating "with outside resources" in order to take appropriate action. Levine, 74, stepped down as music director of the Met in April 2016. "We'll now be conducting our own investigation with outside resources". Levine is now director emeritus at the Met Opera.

The allegations against Levine originally appeared in The New York Post Saturday night.

He said he followed Levine's instructions, though he found himself confused by his behavior toward him.

"I began seeing a 41-year-old man when I was 15, without really understanding I was really "seeing" him", the alleged victim, now 48, said in a written statement to police. But eventually, he said Levine would masturbate in front of him and, as he got older, he said the conductor inappropriately touched and fondled him. "I don't know of any incidents while [Levine] was music director of the BSO", said the orchestra member, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of professional repercussions. The man said that it was the beginning of years of sexual contact against his will with Levine.

The accusations against Levine, among the most prominent classical music conductors in the world, are the latest in a stream of sexual misconduct charges involving high-profile men in entertainment and the media that have rocked the nation since accusations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein were reported in October. The lauded maestro has been with the Met for 40 years and led "more than 2,500 performances of 85 different operas since his company debut in 1971 leading Puccini's Tosca".

Like this: